Barcelona have offered Georginio Wijnaldum a long-term contract as they step up plans to prise him from Liverpool, Football Insider can exclusively reveal.
The Merseysiders have all but given up hope of keeping the Dutch midfielder, even though he remains a virtually nailed-on starter.
A recruitment source has told Football Insider that Barcelona have made Wijnaldum, 30, one of their top targets this summer and have already offered him a contract.
The Holland international is said to regard a move to the Catalan giants as “his dream transfer” since boyhood.
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman is a huge admirer of his countryman and his free agent status from this summer makes it an additionally attractive deal for the club amid some major financial issues.
Football Insider revealed last November that Liverpool were to try again in the new year to revive discussions with Wijnaldum and his agent Humphrey Nijman.
But negotiations are still at a deadlock and there is a growing sense that the Premier League champions would need to significantly trump their current offer to break that.
Wijnaldum has been able to sign a pre-contract agreement with an overseas side from 1 January.
Despite the uncertainty over his future, the versatile midfielder has remained instrumental in Jurgen Klopp’s side.
He started his sixth Champions League match of the campaign in Wednesday’s 2-0 last-16 win over RB Leipzig, and has also started 26 of Liverpool’s 28 Premier League games.
Wijnaldum has made 224 appearances for the club in five years, scoring 22 goals and supplying 16 assists.